Thursday, June 28, 2007


On Sunday, July 29 following the 11:00 a.m. Bilingual “Mass on the Grass”, Advent and Nuestra Señora will be holding its annual pot luck Parish Picnic. Both the Eucharist and picnic will be held on the boulevard in front of the church. In case of rain, we will move to the church basement. This year, Bill Haljun, a member of our partner in mission, Holy Comforter Church, is helping us organize a series of intergenerational games that we hope everyone will participate in. If you’re interested in helping organize the games, please all Johanna Castro, or Charles Hayes. If you are interested in serving as an acolyte, please contact Rev. Sandra, 773/235-1161. Please also let John Medenwald or Ivelisse Muñoz know if you can help with food, beverages or paper goods.


On the weekend of Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29, the Journey to Adulthood (J2A) “Rite 13” youth group from St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Oak Park, (Rev. Sandra’s home parish) will visit Advent and Nuestra Señora for its mission trip. On Friday, the J2A group will work with the Night Ministry in the Lakeview neighborhood handing out hygiene kits. On Saturday, they will work with youth from Advent and Nuestra Señora painting the choir room and the hallway behind the church and in front of the sacristy. The youth will conclude their painting party that day with a celebratory pizza party. On Sunday, the J2A group will join us for our 11:00 a.m. Bilingual Eucharist and Parish Picnic before departing to Oark Park.

The following description of the Journey to Adulthood program comes from St. Christopher’s web site.

Christian formation is a lifelong process. The Journey to Adulthood program gives young people a firm foundation on which to build. It is divided into three phases: Rite 13 (Grades 7-8), Sojourners (Grades 9-10) and YAC (Young Adults in Church - Grades 11-12. The Journey to Adulthood program was developed over a ten-year period by parishioners at St. Phillip's Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C. The curriculum was written by two parishioners, Amanda Millay Hughes and David E. Crean. The Rev. C. Thomas Midyette, Amanda Smith and the Rev. William 1. Roberts, Jr. contributed original ideas and key concepts which were incorporated into the program. Development was funded, in part, by a grant from the Episcopal Church Foundation. This information …was taken from promotional materials produced by Leader Resources, the originators of The journey to Adulthood program.

What is The Journey to Adulthood? A parish program for young people between the ages of 11 and 17 which: provides a liturgical frame for their experience in our modern culture; celebrates their individuality and their creative potential; and, instructs them in the skills required for their successful adult participation in the church community and in society It is based on two key concepts: manhood and womanhood are gifts from God; and, adulthood must be earned. The Journey to Adulthood program includes in-depth exploration of the four realms of: self, sexuality, spirituality, and society.

The three phases of The Journey to Adulthood program [are]: Rite 13; Sojourners; and Young Adults in Church. “Rite 13” assists the young people as they take the first steps away from their families into their own lives; includes a liturgical celebration of the gift of manhood and womanhood when they are 13; stresses the group as community encouraging friendship; and, creates a safe place to explore new ideas, new interests and new abilities. “Sojourners” blends action and contemplation in teaching young people faithful living; teaches six basic skills to prepare them for adulthood: active listening, assertion, research/information management,
negotiation, partnership and leadership; invites the young people to make a holy pilgrimage together following the second year; offers the young people the opportunity for Confirmation; and, acknowledges the young adults as equipped for new levels of responsibility. Young Adults in Church are: guided by adult advisers as they use Scripture, reason and the tradition of the Church to begin a lifelong pilgrimage in their faith; encouraged to take on adult responsibilities in all aspects of parish life and the local community; and, challenged to become good stewards of their time, talent and treasure. Each of The Journey to Adulthood groups meets regularly, apart from church school, for other activities. Occasionally the three groups meet for shared events. Adult leadership is provided by the group leaders and volunteer chaperones.


On July 14, Nuestra Señora de las Americas and Church of the Advent are hosting the Citizenship Workshop sponsored by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. At these workshops, between 50 to 200 individuals are screened and assisted in the application process for U.S. citizenship. Attendance on July 14 is expected to be high because the application fee will increase after July 31. The volunteers will arrive at 7:15 a.m. to set up their supplies for the day. The doors will open at 9:00 a.m. and applicants will be registered through 12:00 p.m. noon. Because the process takes about an hour per person, the volunteers will work until about 2:00 p.m.

The entire church and parish house will be utilized to accommodate the projected attendance of applicants. Volunteers will register the applicants at the church entrance. In the basement, volunteer lawyers will review the applicants’ eligibility to apply for citizenship and other volunteers will help applicants complete the paperwork. A photographer stationed in the basement will take the photos required to accompany the application. Another group of volunteers in the choir room will do “quality assurance”, reviewing all the paperwork.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church are lending us additional tables to accommodate the projected attendance. Our sexton, Sam Summerville, will be setting up tables and chairs the evening of Friday, July 13 and taking them down the afternoon of Saturday, July 14.

Your help in hosting this event is greatly appreciated. Both Nuestra Señora and Advent were very involved in the amnesty program twenty years ago and many members of Nuestra Señora were introduced to the congregation at this time. Through our active participation in this event, we are living out the gospel by opening our churches to the community. If you are interested in volunteering in the application process, you must be at least 18 years of age, speak some English and attend a training either at LSNA on July 9 from 6 to 8 pm or at Advent/Nuestra Señora (date/time to be determined). We also need volunteers to pick up and return tables as well as to help Sam set them up and take them down. High school students can earn community service hours as volunteer runners during the event. For more information, please contact Gloria Granda, or Rev. Sandra, 773/235-1161.



On Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, members of Church of the Advent and Nuestra Señora de las Americas will begin picking up donations of clothes from several churches throughout the Diocese. We will need help picking up the donations and sorting them. Please contact the following people to volunteer: Rev. Sandra, 773/235-1161; John Medenwald, Ignacio Cruz, Amada Gomez, Ivan Medina, and Ivelisse Muñoz.

We will take the clothes to Georgia where an organization will purchase the clothes. We will donate the net proceeds as follows. A percentage will be donated to the Roman Catholic lay ministry organized last summer in Medias Aguas that has been providing food and clothes to the South and Central American immigrants when they come in on trains from Chiapas that stop at that village. Another percentage will be disbursed to the Anglican congregations of San Juan Evangelista in the city of Acayucan and to La Iglesia de la Asención in the village of Nuevo Morelos to help them develop their ministries to the immigrants. Another percentage will be disbursed to these two congregations for the earned income projects being organized there through the Diocese of Southeast Mexico. These projects provide income for not only the congregations but also for the individuals employed by the projects. These projects provide the income that people need to take care of their families and eliminate the need to migrate to the United States. At its June meeting, the Advent Vestry suggested a guideline of 20% for each of the above disbursements.

If you are interested in helping drive the clothes to Georgia and/or making the follow-up visit to the Diocese of Southeast Mexico and to Medias Aguas, contact any of the people listed above.


On June 18, Rev. Sandra visited the Salgado Family and blessed the home they moved into several weeks ago. As the group moved throughout the house, everyone joined in the prayers and felt the spray of holy water as Rev. Sandra asperged the rooms. Summer is an especially good time for this liturgy since we can include the blessing of the family’s garden as well as the interior of the house. If you’d like to schedule a house blessing, please call Rev. Sandra at 773/235-1161.


We are currently developing a one month youth program for this summer at Advent and Nuestra Señora and are asking for assistance from members of both congregations to obtain the needed resources to make the program possible. The planned time period for the program will be from July 16 to August 17, Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3 pm. We are hoping to have a total group of 30 children from kindergarten to eighth grade in the program. They will be divided into groups of 10 and each group will be supervised by one college age counselor.

Activities will include games, craft projects, garden projects, bible study, theater activities and weekly field trips. Lunch and snacks will be provided. In addition to monetary donations, please consider donating food; office, school and craft supplies; and, volunteering your time to lead some of the activities or help supervise the children on field trips. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, please feel free to contact Johanna Castro, Program Coordinator or Rev. Sandra, 773/235-1161.


The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. Lk 8: 38-39

The Old Testament reading and Gospel of June 24 bring to mind the grandeur of God’s power and how it manifests itself throughout humanity. Retiring to Mt. Horeb in fear of retaliation by Jezebel, Elijah, the great prophet of Israel, witnesses the coming of God’s voice in the wind, earthquake and fire. But those awesome phenomena simply precede the sheer silence that accompanies the reassuring voice of God. Jesus’ disciples, the swineherds, the country people and city dwellers of the Gerasenes witness Jesus’ powerful healing love in the exorcism of the “Legion” of demons possessing the man who lived in the tombs. In both instances, human beings were blessed to be witnesses to God’s power and love at work in our world. In his encounter with God, Elijah received the strength and power needed to return to his ministry of prophecy – serving as a messenger of God - confronting King Ahab and Jezebel. Jesus’ disciples were already committed to his ministry of healing and love. Yet, the other witnesses to the exorcism reacted in fear occasioned by lack of understanding, closing themselves off from the transformative power of God’s love. Although the man who had been possessed begged Jesus to allow him to become part of his company of disciples, Jesus instructed the man to return to his home town. This man’s ministry was to proclaim in his community how much Jesus had done for him – a complete transformation that no one could deny.

We continue to see God’s handiwork in our lives albeit in a world torn with violence and conflict. We see God’s power in the bonds of our loving relationships. This week, meeting with two different families in preparation for their children’s baptisms, God’s love was manifest within the families and in the commitment the sponsors were making to their friends and the children. One prospective godfather, traveled from his job in Las Vegas in order to attend the preparation class! Another family who had grown up in Nuestra Señora is traveling from their home in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the baby’s baptism. Our world is continually beset by the violence that led to the shooting death of thirteen year old Schanna Gayden in Logan Square two days before I write this message. Yet, last night, the power of God’s love was manifest as the community came together in prayer to console Schanna’s family following the death this innocent victim of gang crossfire.

Just as God reaffirmed Elijah’s ministry, his power and love continues to reaffirm and reassure us in this sometimes frightening world. Just as Jesus directed the man who had been possessed to proclaim how much Jesus had done for him, we and our congregations are called to proclaim the God’s blessings – loving families, good health, solid Christian formation, educational and career opportunities. Given the gang violence in our community, let us double our efforts in reaching out to the young people in our neighborhood. By sharing our blessings and ourselves with the young people through our various church events and activities, let us proclaim how much Jesus has done for all of us. Let us be witnesses to the power of God’s love.